Due to their ability to outcompete our native plants, invasive plants are overtaking many of our natural areas. This results in decreased biodiversity not only of plants but also of our native wildlife, birds, and beneficial insects. Invasive plant species have several strategies to outcompete our native plants. These include rapid growth and high reproductive rate.
Autumn is the time of year when gardeners can beat invasive plants at their own game, using one of their competitive advantages against them. Yet another survival tactic that invasive plants utilize is to begin growing very early in the spring and continue to grow late into fall. This gives them the opportunity to outcompete native plants who are dormant during these times. As a result of this adaptive behavior we can get the upper hand at this time of year in our battle with invasive plants, as it is easier to locate and eradicate them in autumn.
During the height of the growing season it can be difficult, in the expanse of green, to identify which plants are invasive. Looking out over your property in late Autumn, however, most of the plants that remain vigorously green are typically non-natives, many of them invasive.